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Sustainable dairy production
When there is a problem, we can repair it.
Of course, when you have infrastructure, you can get problems, usually because the farm gets so dry the owner forgets to maintain the open drains and catchment areas until the outlets get silted over. Sometime a hungry grass root will get in the pipe and cause a root blockage, or for that matter tree roots. We have rules for how close and to what kind of trees drainage can be around.
For sustainable dairy production on flat land it is recommended that the pipes be cleaned every 10 years or so, to maintain the efficiency of the drainage co-efficient water removal. Just because some water is flowing out the outlet after rain, it does not mean that the pipe is doing its job. How the paddock is behaving and growing grass tells the story.
Here we have dug up a junction to clean a lateral pipe. We have two cleaners, each mounted on a Zetor Chrystal 8011 80 hp. This one is a 1974 model kept restored and going which Neil sold new, and subsequently bought back and used in contracting for the last 38 years.
What does it cost?
We charge by the metre of pipe cleaned plus any locating, digger and repair work. It generally works out at about 10% of current cost to install new drainage. In 2015 that is about $2 to $2.20 usually including the above costs. On a ten year cleaning cycle this works out at 1% of capital cost per annum to maintain a critical asset.
Seen here is the nozzle with an electronic locating device attached. We have a variety of nozzles, some we have developed ourselves, that give forwards cleaning, and directly outwards cleaning, plus a rotating one that is helpful in cutting through stubborn root blockages. With the use of a special hose end we can usually find junctions when their positions are not known.
The alkathene hose can clean up to 290 metres in one push, more if we add more hose. It is special high pressure hose from Holland and the machine operates at 650 psi. Most old drainage systems can be cleaned and rejuvenated for a small fraction of just putting in new pipe.